I can see the "real" conversations between the sales person and city officials. "We can tell you when and where exactly the parking violations is happening and guide enforcers directly to that car. This is not an expense, it is a revenue generating machine."
Every $1000 investment generate $xxxx ARR ticket revenue - easy math.
Public parking isn't going anywhere, so if this program can pay for itself by increasing parking revenue, while decreasing costs that it takes to generate that revenue (IE, more efficient checking of meters), then all the other civic benefits this data/program can create come "free". Such as improving fire response times, while decreasing cost of services:
>It would be easier if we could use the traffic signals and street lights to clear the road from Point A to Point B, and then have the [streetlight] system detect how the fire truck is moving through the street, restoring traffic flow behind it. That would save us money on fire stations, because we build them based on response times. Improving response times means we might not need as many stations.
The cynics will say this is will be used as excuse to remove resources for fire fighters, but if it can be done responsibly, and the data shows that outcomes will improve (and that outcomes do improve after implementing), I'm all for it.
I would gladly pay the $1 fee to park for 30 minutes in my downtown. However, I often skip paying because of the hassle of walking to the pay station, waiting several minutes to complete the transaction, and then putting the receipt back in my car.
If they just detected by license and sent me a bill, they could have my money!
The only downside, as you would expect, is that you have a new app or two for every city you travel to. It works pretty well though, and it’s way better than having to hunt down a kiosk.
I’m actually pretty surprised that kind of thing hasn’t caught on more here. I’m sure there are at least a few cities in the USA that do it.
So the speed limit may be 25 but if the prevailing traffic indicates that everyone thinks 40 is OK then you can't get ticketed for keeping up with traffic.
I see this issue come up all the time in Palo Alto where I live: people want the speed limit enforced on, say, Embarcadero Rd, but if the the city were to do so they'd have to do a traffic survey which would actually tell them to raise the limit on the signs.
There was a wave of sensible lawmaking in California that was sadly abandoned in the Wilson+ era and has never come back.
+ I don't mean Wilson was the cause, though he was a bad one; he got elected in part because people forgot about being sensible in the regard.
oh! that probably explains why i never in the almost 20 years here got tickets in such a situation, and i thought that i'm just good at spotting police cars (and slamming on the brakes each time i see a one) - here they are much easier to spot because they don't hide cheetah style in roadside bush like the traffic policemen do back in Russia.
Also in California "speed traps" are illegal: this is when a highway runs through a town or district and the district puts up a sudden "25 MPH" sign so they can catch out of towners and charge them money.
Adding too many lights and stop signs speeds traffic up rather than slowing it. Fortunately Cal. seems still (mostly) to hew to the "listen popular opinions to decide what to focus on; listen to actual domain experts to decide what action to take".
The worst of it is that all the infrastructure is in place already for average speed enforcement on toll roads, since you know when everyone gets on and off the highway and all their license plates. But isn't the whole point of a toll road that you pay for the privilege of being out of traffic and going as fast as you can? Who wants to pay for a toll transponder only to get a bunch of speeding tickets in the mail the next month?
Data doesn't back you up. In places where they have raised the speed limit, the overall flow speed does not increase correspondingly.
People drive at the speed they deem safe irrespective of the speed limit.
Heck, maybe it's time to go back to 55 as a federal limit. Last I checked, most vehicles on the road get dramatically better gas mileage at 55. Rather, it gets exponentially worse as speeds increase past 60ish due to wind resistance.
Hard limits are strange for things that are continuous and probabilistic. If we could set an automatic fee equivalent to the cost of increased risks, pollution, etc., it'd be a function of speed. Someday we'll have the technology to communicate that back to the driver as they change speed and location from urban to rural, go through construction zones, etc.
Of course, setting an appropriate gasoline tax, paid at the pump, would reduce the value of those fees.
This police department ticketed this person for something and gets the revenue of the ticket. All other effects are costs for other departments. Positive on the books.
This Justice processing department gets budgeted for processing the ticket. All other effects are costs for other departments. Positive on the books.
This Court department gets budgeted for filing a warrant for this poor person's refusal to pay. The capturing and holding of this person will be a cost for other departments. Positive on the books.
This prison gets paid for holding this prisoner, positive on the books.
Every department is doing things which benefit them and the costs for that specific action don't show up negatively (even if they spawn later actions in other departments that generate costs for them). Every department is doing right by itself in the moment, and millions of dollars are lost.
Many jurisdictions are already doing lpr driven ticketing. A guy drives down the street, he parks at the end and prints the tickets.
I'm not under the impression that indirect is the most common system, as every car that I have owned has used a direct system.
One of the more valuable things I would like to see from this network of sensors is heat maps of traffic issues.
For example, California rolling stops are the stuff of legend, and yet failure to stop is a significant cause of accidents and injuries. A heat map of the day of week, time of day, when these incidents are most likely could provide for selective and useful enforcement.
Alternatively, that same data could be used to indicate that stop signs should be replaced with a yield sign in a particular direction or convert the entire intersection to a roundabout to ease traffic flow.
My hope is that the data streams will be used in aggregate and not for individual enforcement. Trends are your friend.
I was in living in a small town and a new cop moved in. He became very diligent about enforcing the law, and I was pulled over for a rolling stop along a lonely country road. He didn’t give me a ticket (I wasn’t even sure what I had done wrong), but he gave me a stern warning and let me go. I continued on my way (mildly fuming) and came to the next stop down the same road. So I “stopped” and began taking a left. I was still thinking about this when I looked to my left, then right and began to pull out. I realized I just did another rolling stop, so I hit my brakes and this time I actually stopped.
And to my surprise a fast moving car emerged out of my right side blind spot. He was right at the crossing, and had I continued he would have smacked into me.
I was in my pickup truck, and the blind spot was caused by an aftermarket plastic detail that was attached to both windows, so it made the ‘A’ frame 3 times as wide as it should have been, and the angle of the road and speed of the vehicle perfectly matched the location of this plastic piece, effectively hiding the oncoming vehicle so I didn’t catch it when I first looked right.
I met that same cop some weeks later at a social gathering and of course went out of my way to shake his hand in gratitude.
The article describe how the city suddenly has much more data than what they needed or wanted and that they have to start training their people in data science now. There's no mention of privacy at all. I'd see having too much data ("But it’s like we asked for a cold drink of water and got shot in the face with a firehose") more of a liability and danger for the people of the city than a great opportunity.
Public projects should approach problems from the reverse. Figure out what problem you need to solve, then define what the minimal amount of data is that you need to capture. Make a plan how to guarantee privacy and anonymity, and if you have all that, go and put out some sensors. Not the other way round.
What we need to to is change the laws that these systems will enforce. Laws that were once designed to punish people harshly because they’re infrequently applied (like speeding) cannot exist once the enforcement mechanism catches it all the time.
That's an admirable way of looking at the US justice system, but not quite how it really works. The system is adversarial, and "the truth" is a narrative advocated by one of the combatants.
Given enough data, a DA could choose which facts fit their narrative and present a very convincing "truth" to a jury. Unless defendants have access to the entire dataset and can select their own datapoints to refute that narrative, they're fighting at an extreme disadvantage.
Picture a scenario where a person gets murdered, and you're on trial because the only evidence the police have is a smart streetlight log of your car's whereabouts that show you parked in front of a mob-owned business and later in front of the victims house. Your truth is a simple dinner and date with the victims neighbor. The DA's truth is "backed by data".
Yes, this sounds far-fetched and may be an oversimplification, but it's important to remember that the justice system isn't programming and access to more general data doesn't necessarily level the playing field.
Discovery explains away most of your hypothetical.
Why is your account only 30 minutes old? You're clearly an old user. Why the throwaway account?
Why the combative tone, and how are you so certain that Legical is an 'old user' with a throwaway?
> Please don't impute astroturfing or shillage. That degrades discussion and is usually mistaken. If you're worried about it, email us and we'll look at the data.
On the topic of "extremist views with no justification," there are a great many people in the US who are concerned about the imbalance of power in the criminal justice system. Handwaving these concerns away with, "it's not a problem, just hire a lawyer who can go through the pile of data during discovery" doesn't strike me as an effective argument.
> People will ultimately want it
With every big data breach coming to light, more and more people get sensitized about the issues of privacy and needless data collection. People come to see privacy as a quality-of-life issue, and cities that are seen as acting too intrusive could actually be avoided.
Just having more raw data does not guarantee that a city will run better in any fashion. The task in the article about clearing the road for firefighters is a good example. The ability to set traffic lights and having a feedback through the GPS from the fire trucks is enough to achieve this task. There's nothing gained by putting a camera on the corner of every street that also watches the fire truck go by.
Citation needed? That's not my experience at all. I find people getting more comfortable with their image and personal information basically being in the public domain--especially the younger people who have always lived in a social media driven world.
We already live much closer to this world that not, anyway. Security cameras are ubiquitous. And every Nest doorbell we add brings us closer to making impossible to walk freely without being monitored. Most people I know will trade safety and security of giving law enforcement access to this data simply to get the benefits of not having their Amazon packages stolen.
I admit there's a chance that it doesn't happen, but powerful things tend to win in a battle with ethical things. And this is very powerful. So if I had to dedicate resources to either stopping a powerful thing or fixing laws so the powerful thing isn't extra harmful, I'd pick the latter any day.
You may argue that the situation in the US is completely different, but I'm not convinced. See for example the Apple billboard at CES. Would they have put that up if privacy wasn't interesting to their (potential) users?
And yet this is precisely what so many companies are doing now. My current employer has been talking up all the great services we can provide once we have an ocean of data about all the devices we sell. Well, we've begun condensing the vapor into an ocean and yet services (let alone a method of monetizing this data) have yet to precipitate. But let's just keep collecting because Machine Intelligence will ingest the data and save the day!